More U.S. shoppers are turning to marketplaces like Amazon to search for products, according to a UPS survey of 5000 shoppers.

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The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report states more shoppers prefer to begin their searches at marketplaces and single-channel browsing and buying behaviour is on the upswing.

38% of shoppers begin hunting for products on a marketplace, up from 35% in 2016. Amazon accounts for the bulk of product searches, as the chart below illustrates.

“In their quest for efficiency, serious shoppers want to find the most information on the greatest number of products in the least amount of time. Marketplaces in general have positioned themselves as the first stop for heavy shoppers, who are doing more shopping online,” the report states.

Retailer’s websites and stores also play a role in product searches, 29% of shoppers begin searching for products in retailers’ channels.

And search engines account for 15% of product searches.

“The number of product searches beginning on marketplaces has gained three points since 2016, with retailer channels losing two points. This shift has challenged retailers to rethink their value proposition in the fight to capture a greater share of online shoppers’ searches and subsequently, their wallets.”


Amazon dominates online product searches


When searching and buying, the report found shoppers are moving between channels less. 64% of consumers surveyed researched and purchased through one channel.

For example, 43% search online and buy online, while 21% search and buy in-store.

“Shoppers are showing a greater preference for single-channel versus multi-channel shopping. This reverses the upward trend of multi-channel shopping which grew from 36% in 2015 to 38% in 2016,” the report states.

“This could be attributed in part to the fact that online shoppers have become more seasoned at searching and finding what they need via a single channel. By understanding the distinct strengths and limitations of each channel, they can make informed choices while having a more efficient shopping experience.”

Online product searches

Source: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper


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